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Georgia attorney general Sam Olens on gay marriage decision: Georgia will follow the law (updated)

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens released the following statement in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

 

“Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled the Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.  It does not permit bans on same-sex marriage. In our system of government, the Supreme Court bears the ultimate responsibility for determining the constitutionality of our laws. Once the Supreme Court has ruled, its Order is the law of the land. As such, Georgia will follow the law and adhere to the ruling of the Court.”

 

Olens’ office also released a copy of this memo to State Department heads

 

DATE: JUNE 26, 2015

TO: ALL STATE AGENCIES AND DEPARTMENT HEADS

FROM: SAMUEL OLENS, Attorney General

RE: IMPACT OF SUPREME COURT’S RULING IN Obergefell v. Hodges on Georgia’s practices and policies related to marriage

The Supreme Court of the United States today ruled that the Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.  It does not permit bans on same-sex marriage.  This mandate requires Georgia to recognize same sex marriage in the same way it recognizes marriage between a man and a woman. Georgia’s local governments are now constitutionally required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, to issue those licenses in the same way and via the same procedures employed for all other applicants, and to recognize same-sex marriages on an equal footing with all other marriages.

State agencies and state employees are required to treat those who are lawfully married in a similar fashion.  State agencies and employees should immediately review their current practices related to their agency’s function and benefits and ensure that their practices conform to the current state of the law.  In addition, to the extent that prior practices impact on-going services or recognition, agencies should establish a process to review any past agency decisions that must be remediated in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

In the event that there are any questions or concerns related to the legal impact of this decision, please contact the Office of the Attorney General.

Read more about Olens’ instructions to Georgia state department heads on the ruling on the AJC Political Insider blog


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